When Big 10 Conference commissioner Jim Delany speaks, the world of college athletics takes notice. Tuesday Delany spoke publically that the 12 to 18 month time frame to "explore" the possibility to add to it's current 11 members is still the case.
Good to know since the Big 10 spilled the beans on the possibility to expand the other BCS conferences have been formulating their contingency plans.
It appears staging a conference championship football game isn't in the Big 10 plans. Delany said the conference isn't interested in that but a football championship game has never been the Big 10's motivation to expand. Adding more TV markets to carry the Big Ten Network is.
Delany did say that the Big 10's main goals are to gain a foothold in the growing southern markets and expanding the reach of the lucrative Big Ten Network.
I interpret that one way, that the Big Ten is going after the University of Texas.
By the Longhorns joining the Big Ten you get Top 10 TV markets in Dallas (#5) and Houston (#10). Not to mention Texas' vast alumni base that rivals those of most Big Ten schools.
The Big Ten also gets a Texas program that is a brand name in football, a top 25 program in men's basketball and a national power in baseball.
Texas might lose their historic rivals with Oklahoma and Texas A&M but joining the Big Ten would add more millions to their bank account and OU and the Aggies can be easily replaced by playing Ohio State and Michigan every year.
You can forget about Nebraska and Missouri (and Mizzou seems to be openly begging the Big Ten to take them) joining because again, this expansion is about TV markets. The Big Ten already has a stake in the St. Louis market (#21) with Illinios and doesn't gain much with Mizzou and Nebraska solidifying the Kansas City market (#32). Neither are southern markets either.
The Big Ten seems has it's eyes on Texas.